Highlights from our Reverse Pitch: What the Industry Wants from Insurtech?

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24th September 2019

Reverse Pitch: What the Industry Wants from Insurtech?

Over the years InsTech London has successfully brought hundreds of emerging tech, data and analytics companies to talk to the insurance community about the solutions they can offer insurers, MGA’s and brokers.

This time we reversed the dialogue. One corporation (Experian) and six insurers (Talbot, Bupa, Brit, Allianz, Renaissance Re and Hiscox) delivered their ‘reverse pitch’. We heard about  the opportunities they want to explore and the innovation challenges they wish to solve by working with technology companies and startups. The event was sponsored by PKF Littlejohn who also had some requests from the audience. 

PKF Littlejohn

John Needham, Partner

Chris Riley, Head of Tax

PKF Littlejohn is a multi-service line accounting and business advisory practice. They work with ninety or so insurance intermediaries and around forty insurers. 

Chris Riley said, “Increasingly we’ve seen insurtech customers coming to us with common themes, such as funding for insurtech start-ups, tax issues around research and development, and  incentivising talented staff to invest in the future”

Reverse pitch:

  • Assisting a firm to go through the Lloyds Syndicate-in-a-box process - interested to hear from start-ups which they may be able to help pro bono.

  • Half the 90 intermediaries PKF work with deal with client money. John and Chris are interested to hear from anyone with clever and innovative solutions for this.

  • PKF are seeing more and more clients using Xero as a platform and would like to talk to anyone who has done a front to back-office integration. 

  • They are also keen to help companies solve problems such as EIS claims being denied or VAT issues. 



Jamie Garret, Head of digital underwriting strategy

Talbot, an AIG member company, operates within Lloyd's. It writes a portfolio including marine, transport, energy, terrorism, political risk, crisis management, kidnap & ransom, contingency, financial lines, property and treaty reinsurance.

Jamie Garret: “The key question for Talbot is how can we use technology to expand the reach of our underwriting? We’ve been working with Ninety who’ve been helping us with innovation. One great success has been to reimagine the relationships we can have with brokers.”

Reverse pitch:

  • “Distribution is massive for us. We want to look at this independently.”

  • Underwriting and pricing. Jamie detailed that Talbot would like to develop these in order to better sustain competitive advantage, which leads to data:

  • “Talbot sits on a significant amount of data and we need help sorting it out. How can our data further support our underwriting and claims? We want to unlock it, and we’re interested in new data sources also.”



Madeleine Durand, Senior Strategy Manager

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. With no shareholders, their customers are their focus. Health insurance accounts for the major part of their business with 16.7m customers and contributes around 75% of revenue. They operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals with 15m customers.

Madeleine Durand identified key trends in BUPA’s world. Health insurance uptake has been stagnating in terms of lives covered. Madeleine: “Firstly there’s an ongoing shift from individual paid to company paid. Secondly, it’s been quite a hostile fiscal environment. Lastly, customers are increasingly choosing to self-pay – self-insure – for their treatment rather than having insurance, and self-pay providers are currently enjoying double-digit growth.

Robin Merttens asked whether Vitality, BUPA’s fastest-growing competitor, worries them?  “Yes, and no,” said Madeleine. “Vitality is focussed on SME, consumer segments and advertising, and wellness programmes, so BUPA and Vitality have different areas of focus, different strengths, and should be able to coexist.”

Reverse pitch:

  • “I would like to see a low-cost admin platform to manage our corporate clients and a number of complementary products.”

  • BUPA are looking for a full-stack PMI (Private Medical Insurance)  solution.

  • They are looking for a digital product which would help guide consumers to make informed choices in a more and more complex health ecosystem.

  • Finally, BUPA would like to hear from companies or individuals who can assist them to use data, for insights, and claims prevention too.

InsTech London’s event Life & Health Insurance Show and Tell, 11th November will explore Health and insurtech in much greater detail.



Jason Smith, Deputy Lead, Data Exchange

Experian unlocks the power of data to create opportunities for consumers, businesses and society. They gather, analyse, combine and process it to help people and organisations take financial control and access financial services, make smarter decisions, lend more responsibly, and organizations prevent identity fraud and crime

Jason Smith: “Experian is known for giving credit scores, but we have some really interesting pockets, such as the Data Exchange team. We work to utilise data to improve products or make new products through an innovation process. We also work through a proprietary process in dealing with data, around regulations, data sharing, and consent.”

Robin Merttens commented that Experian has a ‘phenomenal dataset’ and asked how they can dovetail with the insurance industry. Jason feels that insurance has been largely neglected and that it is high-time more work was done. He acknowledged that Experian data is incredibly valuable for working with insurance partners and said that Experian is also currently completing some work with Ninety.

Reverse pitch:

  • “We want to collaborate with any insurers or insurtech partners out there with interesting data or ways of interpreting data, so we can explore what can be done with Experian’s data set, such as improving customer journey flow, and developing risk models.”

  • “We want to look at using transaction data to look at underserved markets, for example, the gig economy.”



Paolo Cuomo, Head of Strategy. Paolo is also co-founder of InsTech London.

Brit is a global speciality insurance and reinsurance provider. They underwrite across all major classes of commercial insurance with a strong focus on Property, Casualty and Energy business. Brit operates in the Lloyd's market and prides itself on its specialist underwriting and claims experience

Paolo: “A lot of start-ups have been hampered by the decisions the carriers have taken, and endless POCs. Brit will say no within 10 mins if we don’t think a company or solution will add value. We actually find start-ups appreciate it.”

Paolo: “Some of the job titles at this event, including mine, don’t really tell us very much, because these are roles to work out what’s next for insurance, and make sure the ‘what’s next’ works. Three years ago the ideas were great but often unactionable. That’s now changed.”

Reverse pitch:

  • “Parametric insurance is really interesting. It’s an entirely new product, covering risk which previously has been very hard to cover.”

  • Brit are very interested in risk mitigation; how they can help clients not to have to claim in the first place.

  • Finally, Brit is very interested in claim efficiencies, and faster payments.

Contact James Birch to discuss ideas.



Hayley Maynard, Chief of Staff to CUO Specialty

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is a global corporate insurance carrier and a key business unit of Allianz Group. They provide risk consultancy, Property-Casualty insurance solutions and alternative risk transfer for a wide spectrum of commercial, corporate and speciality risks across 12 dedicated lines of business.

Hayley Maynard looked after SME in Australia and then moved into global strategy, projects, and managing board-level reports. Hayley: “Corporate and Speciality is the Corporate side of Allianz. We look after the listed companies in the world, speciality lines, aviation, entertainment, retail, and so on.”

Matthew grant asked Hayley about the Australian insurtech space. Hayley sees three categories in the retail sector: efficiency, risk analytics, and customer. Hayley: “A company called Checkbox got some real traction in Allianz Australia, really focusing on efficiencies.” 

Reverse Pitch

  • “It’s all about the customer. In retail we talk about products which transition through life stages, but in insurance we don’t think about that enough. A good example is that planning and insurance cover are usually separate actions. Why can’t they be in step and evolve together throughout the planning stage?”


Renaissance Re

Karl Stanley VP, Technology Ventures

Renaissance Re (or “Ren Re”), founded in 1993 is a global provider of reinsurance and insurance The company provides property, casualty and speciality reinsurance and certain insurance solutions to customers, principally through intermediaries. 

Matthew asked Karl how Ren Re, having been highly successful over a long period, is maintaining growth through innovation.

Karl Stanley: “In the 1990s the highly quantitative manner of underwriting was innovative, so Ren Re have always used technology and innovation. Presently, renewing legacy is a large part of what we do, and one of our challenges. The world has changed. Ren Re was a successful monoline, and now we’ve consciously diversified, organically and also through acquisition. We bring onboard the best parts of our acquisitions’ cultures, and adapt to Ren Re.”

Karl gave an example of a current initiative: Ren Re is working with InsurTech Gateway, Floodflash, and looking into cryptocurrency wallets. “Cryptocurrency is currently very niche, but in a few years what we call cryptocurrency now will probably just be called ‘money’”

Reverse pitch:

  • “If anyone has a database of all the properties in Louisiana and Florida and Texas and can tell me how far the ground floor is off the ground, I will pay you money right now! The accuracy of the flood modelling data is currently poor.”

  • Karl also pinpointed exposure profiling, using the VW emissions case as an example. A Ren Re director asked Karl to find out what the company’s exposure to VW was. “To figure this out across the book of a huge company like Ren Re is not trivial. We’d like to hear about better ways of obtaining such data.”



Matthew Churchill, Head of Futures

Hiscox is a Bermuda-incorporated insurance provider, listed on the London Stock Exchange and  with a retail business and underwriting through Lloyd's. The company specialises in niche market areas offering property and casualty insurance aimed at companies and high-net-worth individuals, as well as cover against such risks as hacking, kidnapping and satellite damage.

Matthew Churchill: “My job is to know what’s happening outside Hiscox – to bring that learning in, and use it to produce measurable change. Matthew explained how some start-ups Hiscox meet are really on the cutting edge, doing things which may be more mainstream in five to ten years. “But it’s difficult to bring them into a company driven by results over a six month to one year period.”

Matthew discussed how Hiscox have been working with Re:infer, who specialise in AI natural language processing. “Re:infer have been able to get MI in areas we’d never hoped to access before. We then have to take action with the Management Information they are giving us. It took three years from POC to Hiscox deciding to embed that platform across the whole group.

Reverse pitch:

  • “Our communication is transactional, an email trail. Within that email trail should be everything we need to underwrite risk. Why can’t a machine read hundreds of thousands of these and know how to codify and turn into clear underwriting rules? Hiscox wants to add structure where currently there isn’t enough.”

 See more details in our  Reverse Pitch Agenda